Check back frequently for the latest Updates from the Masons of California.
Update 5/6: Say Thanks to Hardworking MHC Staff
From now through the end of Masonic Homes Month in June, let’s show our support for the Masonic Homes of California staff! One easy way for lodges to reach out is to follow the example of Acalanes Fellowship Lodge No. 480 and record a simple video with messages of encouragement and thanks.
Share your message of thanks for the Masonic Homes staff on Facebook—together, we’ll send a powerful show of support for these hardworking front-line workers. WATCH THE VIDEO.
Update 5/5: Update A Message from the Staff of the Masonic Homes of California
Workers at the Masonic Homes of California campuses in Union City and Covina have worked diligently to keep all residents and staff safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis. In this video to the wider MHC family, team members show just how committed they are to their community. WATCH THE VIDEO.
Update 5/4: All-New MCYAF Wellness Video Series
Check out the latest video series by the Masonic Center for Youth and Families (MCYAF), featuring experts and clinicians offering helpful tips on dealing with stress, anxiety, and other issues related to emotional well-being. Here, MCYAF project coordinator Jodi Mikel reviews tools and exercises to build resilience. WATCH THE VIDEOS HERE.
Update 4/22: A Message from Grand Master John Trauner
In the latest weekly video update, Grand Master John Trauner send his well wishes, announces Grand Lodge-sponsored virtual events and trainings, and sends update on the Distress Worthy Brother emergency relief fund. WATCH THE VIDEO.
- Beginning in late April, Grand Lodge will host an exciting and entirely digital Masonic Speaker Series featuring lectures and talks from Masonic experts on a range of topics.
- Join us in an all-digital webinar Monday, May 4 from 4-5 p.m. to discuss current issues facing lodge secretaries.
- In an all-new live online webinar April 27 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Hall Association officers can get important information and advice on operations impacted by COVID-19.
- Join fellow California Masons each Saturday night at 9 p.m. on Facebook Live for a virtual toast celebrating our fraternal bonds, as well as honoring those working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis.
Update 4/17: A Musical Message of Hope from Acacia Creek
With COVID-19 affecting residents and caregivers at nursing homes around the world, neighbors at the Acacia Creek retirement community in Union City who’ve been sheltering in place sent a message of hope and togetherness. Inspired by the Italian balcony singers, they offered their support to those fighting the pandemic with an uplifting rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ from live-in caregiver (and opera soprano) Tracy Cox. Watch and share the Facebook video!
Update 4/15: Message From Junior Grand Warden Randall Brill
In the latest weekly video update from Grand Lodge officers, Junior Grand Warden Randy Brill explains how Masons take an obligation to help one another in times like these, and urges everyone to put the lessons they’ve learned in lodge into practice outside it. WATCH THE VIDEO.
- For assistance requests, please contact Masonic Outreach Services at (888) 466-3642.
- To give back to the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund, visit: MasonicFoundation.org
Update 4/13: Behind the Critical Medical Equipment, a Towering Mason
As hospitals around the world scramble to secure the crucial protective gear and machinery to safely treat patients with COVID-19, one piece of medical equipment has taken on a particular significance: the respirator.
California Masons may recall that the man behind this piece of life-saving equipment was Forrest Bird, a Golden Veteran and 2010 California Mason of the Year. His Bird Mark 7 portable ventilator, which he debuted in 1958—and later the Baby Bird for infants—essentially replaced the iron lung and fundamentally changed the course of respiratory care. In addition to his longtime affiliation with Palm Springs Lodge No. 693, Bird was a World War II veteran, medical business leader, and legendary aviation expert. A colorful and eccentric character, Bird rubbed shoulders with the likes of Howard Hughes, Henry Ford, and Barack Obama. He’s a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and won prestigious medals from two presidents. He founded a charter school, operated a museum, and ran a 300-acre combination business, farm, and factory in rural Idaho right up until his death in 2015 at 94. READ MORE ABOUT BIRD IN THIS 2008 ARTICLE FROM CALIFORNIA FREEMASON.
Update 4/10: Guidance to Hall Associations on the Cares Act
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $2 trillion stimulus package thought to be the largest in U.S. history. Here are resources that are available to Hall Associations:
Update 4/8: Message From Senior Grand Warden Jeff Wilkins
In this video message, Senior Grand Warden Jeff Wilkins urges California Masons who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to access relief through the fraternity’s many resources. WATCH THE VIDEO.
- Visit MCYAF.org for telehealth service information. Masons and their family members receive three free sessions.
- To access relief through the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund or to give back to the fund, visit: californiafreemason.org/dwbrelief
- For any other assistance requests, please contact Masonic Outreach Services at (888) 466-3642.
Update 4/6: Jobs, Phone Bills, and Cooking Classes: Check Out the COVID-19 Resource Guide
From a list of companies hiring to tips on paying your bills to educational videos for kids, the Masonic Outreach Services team has put just about everything you need to know into a new COVID-19 Resources Guide, available on the Masonic Homes of California website. If you’re a Mason who’s been affected by the pandemic and have questions on where to turn for help or advice, check out this master list for some quick help on local, state, and federal programs that may help close the gap—and be sure to apply for relief through the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund. SEE THE RESOURCE GUIDE
Update 4/1: Deputy Grand Master Arthur Weiss on COVID-19 Response
In this video message, Deputy Grand Master Arthur Weiss urges California Masons to hang in there, reach out to their extended fraternal families, and offer relief for those affected by the outbreak. WATCH THE VIDEO.
Update 4/1: Masonic Homes of California Expert: Best Practices During COVID-19
Joseph Pritchard, the vice president of clinical operations for the Masonic Homes of California, offers five tips to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. READ MORE.
Update 3/25: Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak? Masonic Relief Is Here
Grand Master John E. Trauner has announced the formation of a Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund to provide services, resources, and funds to California Masons in need as a result of COVID-19. Learn more about the program and eligibility, and please consider making a donation to the fund. READ MORE.
Update 3/18, update 3/24: Important Message from the Grand Master Regarding Lodge Events During the COVID-19 Outbreak
As of Monday, March 16, all non-essential meetings in California have been suspended indefinitely. As a result, all lodge meetings and Masonic events of any kind, including those for Masonic Organizations and Masonic Youth Orders are postponed until further notice. READ MORE.
Update 3/24: Disease, Quarantine, and Masonic Relief—170 Years Ago
When a horrific outbreak of cholera struck Gold Rush Sacramento and San Francisco in 1850, Masons took the reins of one of the state’s first—and most profound—public health responses. READ MORE.
Update 3/18: Our Fraternal Promise: Message from Masonic Homes CEO Gary Charland
Our bonds of brotherhood are more important than ever during this outbreak. Now is the time to reach out to our Masonic family. From making a simple phone call to offering to pick up groceries or medication for an elderly member, Masons are in a unique position to lend a helping hand to seniors, widows, and those living alone. READ MORE.
Update 3/18: How to Manage Stress and Anxiety (video)
Like many, you may feel stress and anxiety at this time. Kimberly Rich, Executive Director of the Masonic Center for Youth and Families, offers some strategies for managing anxiety and stress in this short video. WATCH NOW.
For more information and to access telehealth services, visit MCYAF.org.
Update 3/18: Stuck at Home? Take a Deep Dive on Masonic Education Online
If like most of us you’ve suddenly found yourself with some time to kill at home, check out this list of fun online Masonic diversions from California and beyond. Esoteric blogs, Masonic museum exhibitions, and much more. We’ll continue updating this page as we come across more interesting finds. READ MORE.
Update 3/12: Grand Lodge-Sponsored Event Status
Check here for a master list of the status of several upcoming Grand Lodge-sponsored Masonic events, including leadership retreats, symposia, and more. This list will be updated as more information becomes available. READ MORE.